California Trip – Part 1

The four of us in front of some famous bridge.

Starting Memorial Day weekend, we took a trip to the SF area. Sandra & I spent part of our honeymoon in SF, 28 years ago. It was fun seeing it again as a family.

We had great weather and the hotels we stayed at were very nice with helpful staff and nice accommodations.

We spent three days in SF, then we rented a Nissan Hybrid (great car) and headed south to Monterrey/Carmel for a couple of days and finally headed north to the Wine Country for a few days.

Instead of a travelogue, I thought I’d share some impressions and observations.

  • iPad billboards and ads everywhere in SF. Went to the Apple store near Union Square. It was packed. iPads everywhere for people to try.
  • We took BART under the bay to and from our hotel in Oakland. One day a professor was grading papers on the train and left some he had put under his seat.
  • We used public transit while in SF – BART is separate from the buses and cable cars in SF. The system is very efficient. The buses were clean and we never waited more than15 minutes for one. Travelling thru Chinatown was interesting – we looked around (or over everyone’s head) on these buses crammed with Chinese speaking in tongues.
  • Took a short trip on a cable car. What strength those drivers must have to work those controls. The main line was out of service for a while so they could change out some machinery under the street. This is not sleek new technology, but large hand machined cogs and wheels.
  • Went to Coit Tower. Great WPA-era murals in the area where you waited for the elevator. Images of the docks, machines, the bridges, logging and more. A celebration of the men and women who toiled quietly everyday.
  • The elevator at the Tower was old and cramped. One woman on the way up was not handling the tight quarters very well.
  • The bus driver who took us to the Tower and back had a wonderful sense of humor and loved his job.
  • We took one of the Hop On, Hop Off buses around the city. It was a lot of fun, and a great way to see the highlights.
  • The area where we stayed in Oakland was the dividing line between downtown and Chinatown. Every morning the Chinese grocery stores brought out their produce. Constant coming and going of cars and trucks – picking up and delivering.
  • 45 degree incline streets? Seriously? What were they thinking?
  • We went to City Lights Bookstore. Saw a great book that I want to read someday – Strange Days Indeed – The 1970s: The Golden Days of Paranoia. Love the cover – Brezhnev, Nixon, Idi Amin. Ah, the good old days.

Below are some photos from our days in SF. Especially our trip to the Japanese Tea Garden – what a treasure.

Next stop Monterrey/Carmel and Big Sur.

Classic SF photo - took this from the Hop On/Off bus

There's that bridge again

View of Coit Tower and surrounding neighborhood

City Lights Bookstore

City Lights Bookstore - Home of the Beat writers. Great things inside.

I loved these Ginkgo trees in the Japanese Tea Garden

A very tame and interested squirrel in the Japanese Tea Garden


I write about nutrition, health, food-related issues and spirituality at Whole Food-Whole Life.

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